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KUWAIT CITY, Dec 21: According to a report of MEED magazine, the value of active refining projects in the Middle East and North Africa has declined amid the shift of ongoing global energy away from fossil fuels, in addition to the spread of the COVID- 19 pandemic in the region since mid-February 2020 until now, reports Al-Anba daily. An analysis of the refining projects in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Egypt, Libya, Algeria and Iraq revealed that Kuwait witnessed the largest drop in active oil refining projects during the analyzed period, according to data released by MEED Projects, which tracks regional project activity. MEED explained that in February 2019, the total value of the country’s active refining products amounted to $35.3 billion.
However, it is currently less than $100 million. This decline is partly attributed to the completion of several major giant refining projects in the country. These projects include environmental fuel projects at a cost of $16 billion, the final units of which began operating in September this year. They also include the Al-Zour refinery project worth USD 16 billion, which was mechanically completed and is currently in operation. There were no new projects worth mentioning or being talked about in the refining sector, or any other sector of the oil and gas sectors in Kuwait over the past few years. It should be noted that the ongoing issues related to the local political situation in Kuwait have increased the dual impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global shift towards clean energy.
As a result, the decision-making process, including the necessary reforms to support the Kuwait economy, faltered, at a time when the opposition in the National Assembly prevented the implementation of the Cabinet’s decisions. There will be a need to increase political stability to see any significant improvement in terms of refining projects in Kuwait during 2022.
Meanwhile, MEED magazine stated that the value of active projects in the MENA region currently stands at $93.4 billion, down from its peak of $189.7 billion in February 2019. The last time the refining project activity in this group of countries in the region was evaluated at such a low level was in September 2016. MEED magazine concluded by stating that the collapse in demand for refined oil derivatives during the pandemic forced many refineries around the world to either reduce the production of refined products or even stop operations completely. However, the recent recovery in global demand has been a catalyst for reviving operations in many of these facilities, but the project activity in the MENA region remains at low levels.